My favourite places to hang out are usually in the heartlands. Unlike the town areas where life is bustling, I prefer the more quiet and relaxed sort of lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong though, I do go to town regularly, but it’s a pretty crowded place and everyone’s just rushing back and forth along the streets. If I am really wanting to find a place to destress, that’s not a really conducive place for me to soothe myself though. It would be even better if there would be a place that is of a cafe setting that matches the cafes in town in terms of food and decor.
One such place is Chef Hat’s. It’s located at Hougang Green Shopping Mall and it’s a place that is pretty hard to miss. When you first step foot to the neighbourhood shopping mall, the big signage outside of the shop is just there. Before my actual visit there, I had already had knew of the place existence for quite a while because I often went past the area and the signage just caught my eye every time.
During my first visit, there wasn’t anyone in the cafe because we visited at quite an odd hour (Who has dinner at 5pm on a Sunday anyway?). The waitress was prompt in promoting specials that weren’t in the menu and we were promptly seated. We took quite a while to decide on the food to order anyway, but I eventually settled on the Thyme-Griled Chicken Thigh and some Affogato (again).
My main course that day was Thyme-Grilled Chicken Thigh. It is served with potato wedges and boiled vegetables as sides. The portion wasn’t too big but it was simply a delight to eat. The chicken skin was grilled to a crisp and the meat was tender. The potato wedges were one of the best I had eaten as they were crispy and the wasn’t too salty so you could actually taste the potato. The boiled vegetables were nice too and there were crunchy and very fresh. For that price, forget about the portion size. The taste of the dish was simply heavenly I could go for more!
The ice-cream in the Affogato here is from New Zealand Natural. It’s also the same ones that they serve on Waffles or just a serving of ice-cream in the bowl. I went for Vanilla because it’s the most authentic form of Affogato. Affogato’s from most places can’t go wrong, after all the espresso is being dispensed by a coffee machine. This one was slightly different from most that I have tried as the ice-cream was smoother and richer, and actually blends into the espresso and makes the taste of the Affogato more unique than the ones I had at other places.
The second visit I went there was on a weekday during actual dinner hours in the evening at around near 7pm. This time round the cafe is nearly full and we were just lucky that there was only one more vacant table for us. I decided to go for the Fish & Chips instead this time round though.
While the Fish & Chips wasn’t as authentic to what I have expected (was thinking of the beer-battered ones rather than fried with bread crumbs), they were still marvelous. The fish was fresh and didn’t taste ocean-y and was also fried to crisp. The fries were crispy on the outside, fluffy in the inside. Be sure to have the fries when they are warm though, it turns soft after a while. The coleslaw was fresh and served cold, unlike some other places where it’s being splattered over something hot that’s on the dish before it gets served to you.
Overall, Chef Hat’s is a good place to dine-in and relax with your friends or family. The relaxed atmosphere and the quiet surroundings makes it just the right place for a catch-up with friends or just to hang out in, and a great place if you are looking for a simple meal served in a family-restaurant. Hope that I would be back to visit soon!
21 Hougang Green Shopping Mall
Hougang Street 51
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/chefs.hats?fref=ts